Category Archives: Ignition! Starting up

After 20 years: Updating the Berkus Method of valuation

Well, it had to happen.  Originally created in the mid 1990’s to help with the imprecise problem of how to value early stage companies, especially those in technology, I developed what soon became known as “The Berkus Method” when published … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | 4 Comments

The best advice startups will never follow

Let me tell you a few short hair-raising stories of entrepreneurs who have raised money and regretted it later.  Here are some rules that entrepreneurs almost always ignore to their future peril. Don’t take money from relatives who can’t afford … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | 5 Comments

Don’t get hung up on valuation.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked away from deals where the entrepreneur insists on a start-up premoney valuation that is so high, no angel could expect to make a return upon the investment, even with a reasonable … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | 2 Comments

The Rule of Thirds

It is rare when one person starts a company, supplies all the funding, and shares no management tasks or equity with others, and still grows the company to any significant size, worthy of a multi-million dollar opportunity to cash out … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money, Surrounding yourself with talent | 1 Comment

Huge opportunities do NOT command amazing pre-money valuations.

Dave’s note: Popular Bill Payne returns this week with a thoughtful take on valuations. By Bill Payne One entrepreneur has a company which appears to be scalable to a $30 million exit value in five to eight years, and a … Continue reading

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Craft your roadmap. Plan your trip.

By JJ Richa J.J. Richa is a successful entrepreneur and technologist giving back to the entrepreneurial community in many ways, including his weekly Internet TV program on entrepreneurism, and participation in several mentoring programs.       Business planning is a crucial part … Continue reading

Posted in Growth!, Ignition! Starting up, Positioning | Leave a comment

How many innovations are carefully planned?

Most innovations come from responding to a customer’s needs, or finding a niche where products need improvement or extension.  It is rare to innovate using a blank sheet of paper in a room with bare walls and no other contributors. … Continue reading

Posted in Growth!, Ignition! Starting up | 1 Comment

Burn the bridges behind.

By Frank Peters I became an entrepreneur because I had to. My life in Corporate America wasn’t going so well.  I never got fired, but I did quit one job the day before I was to be let go. I … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up | 4 Comments

It’s mostly in the execution.

“Everybody’s got a plan – until they are punched in the face,” stated boxer Mike Tyson.  My experience personally reviewing over three hundred executive summaries each year, all sent to me unsolicited, seems to bear out the truth in Tyson’s … Continue reading

Posted in Growth!, Ignition! Starting up | 1 Comment

The three step dance – creating a great company

Creating a gerat company in a relative vacuum is an exercise in complete trust that the entrepreneur knows what’s best for the customer, perhaps even without interaction with such a customer.  It’s probably happened, but not often enough to trust … Continue reading

Posted in Finding your ideal niche, Ignition! Starting up, Positioning | 1 Comment